Monday, November 23, 2015

Liberals Must Admit Islamic Terrorism Exists.

An ISIS parade in the Syrian town of Tel Abyad.

I'm a fairly progressive guy. Any of you that know me are well aware of this fact. As such, I'm not afraid to exercise the rights granted to me by this fair nation. The First Amendment is one of the greatest protections against tyranny that I have as an American. While I might not always agree with US Government policy on matters, both foreign and domestic, I am a staunch defender of this nation and the principles it was founded upon. Thankfully, I live in a country where I am allowed to express my thoughts in a manner free from physical detainment or harm.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- that's something we can all get behind.

As a progressive, I try my best to promote the notions of equality, justice and constant learning. I want to live in a land where healthcare is available to everyone and administered as a not-for-profit public utility. I want public education to operate in a similar manner, allowing everyone the chance to obtain higher education. I want our roads and motorways to be maintained for our benefit, all the while providing necessary employment to anyone who wants a job. We pay taxes for the common good. If not to support the aforementioned desires, then for what other reason more appropriate? I want women to have full control over their own bodies; contraceptives should always be available and abortion should be the choice of the mother faced with a difficult predicament. Individuals, no matter their gender or race, should be allowed the opportunity to wed in a legal sense, as to provide legitimate defense in matters of healthcare, death and child custody. And yes, I even support the right to worship in whatever manner you see fit, or to not worship at all. I might be an atheist whom dislikes the concept of religion, but I resolutely support a person's privilege to practice it. As long as your religious beliefs don't encroach upon my life, our government or the administration of the public welfare, you can worship however and whatever you want. I support the rights of everyone, whether I agree with them or not.

So what am I getting at?

What I'm trying to illustrate is that I'm about as liberal as a citizen could be. Though, I literally cringe at such a label. I don't like to employ banner-wielding designations when it comes to ideologies. Let a man stand on his own two feet; take him for what he is. His ideas should succeed or fail based upon their own merit. All that considered, I've been called a liberal more than once in the past. For the sake of this article, I'm just going to go with it.

Here's my issue...

You can't take Islam out of the Islamic State.

So many fellow progressives are quick to defend Islam in the face of global terrorism. Such a position exists as a modern tent pole of liberalism. Many will assert that terrorism, like that committed by the Islamic State (aka ISIL or ISIS), is not Islamic in itself. They're not Muslims, just terrorists with a bloody axe to grind. The Islamic State does not represent Islam.

Such progressives couldn't be more incorrect. As a progressive, I wholeheartedly demand better of those whom think like myself. You can't call yourself a progressive and ignore Islamic brutality.

The Islamic State, for all that it stands for, is the living, breathing embodiment of what the Quran prescribes for Muslims. I've thoroughly researched the political and social platforms which ISIS touts. If anything, this terrorist group exerts the message of the Quran in as literal a way as virtually possible. The Islamic State ardently follows the prophecy of Muhammad; they refer to this prerogative as the Prophetic methodology. Being that ISIS is rooted in Salafism, a branch of Sunnism, it subscribes to a reverential emulation of the Prophet and his earliest followers.

Consider the members of the Islamic State as the Amish -- they practice what they preach, down to the very last letter. If you're looking for the group of Muslims that most closely observe the message of the Quran, then ISIS is it.

While I can understand the motivation pushing progressives to detach religion from terrorism, I find their shortsightedness to be terribly harmful. The liberal mind should desire to support freedom from oppression, the right to a fair trial, the opportunity to exist without dogmatic enslavement. ISIS supports the murder of all whom stand in the way of the apocalyptic prophecy laid forth in the Quran. They practice the stoning of women whom are victims of rape; the beheading of those whom don't submit to their supreme authority. Any other group of terrorists which behaved in such a way, were they to be Christian or Jewish or even atheist, would be categorically denounced by liberals as barbaric.

So why does Islam get a free pass?

For far too long, progressive thinkers have turned a blind eye to the Muslim world in the name of religious freedom. Their position being if Muslims choose to subjugate their women as possessions, then so be it. If they choose to murder innocents in the name of their prophet, then so be it. If they choose to shoot little girls in the face because they want an education, then so be it. That is the Muslim way.

I'm here to tell you -- not all cultures are created equal. Some should not be respected or tolerated. This holds especially true for Islam. It is not disrespectful or bigoted to turn a critical eye to Muslim world. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Islam is no different than Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism or any other religious group. If you're a progressive that supports equality, then you must critically analyze and question all ideologies equally, no matter their origin. Any other way would be hypocritical, verging on farcical nepotism.

Admittedly, the vast majority of Muslims fail to staunchly practice the Quran like the Islamic State. Like most Christians in America, they pick and choose which parts they want to follow to their own comfort or benefit. Most Muslim sects use the Quran more as a guide and less as an instruction manual. I've met and broken bread with Muslims in the past -- they are a polite and caring people. Many are often misunderstood, unfairly because of their language or code of dress. While I don't support the Islamic tendency to treat women as prized treasures to be constantly guarded and shepherded by men of superiority, at least a Muslim woman in America has the option to leave her situation behind should she choose to do so. Muslim women in foreign lands unfortunately do not share in this advantage, though. I certainly hope the Muslim world continues to evolve with a sense of equality and fairness -- many predominately Islamic states have experienced such a revolution, though this is certainly in the minority.

A makeshift memorial outside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris following the terrorist attacks which claimed over 120 people.

I ask all progressives to call a spade a spade. The Islamic State is most certainly Islamic. The terrorism committed by the Islamic State is precisely Islamic terrorism. Don't be afraid to identify injustice where you see it. Most importantly, do not wilt under the pressure of alleged liberals with a subversive and wholly uninformed agenda. To examine Islam is not Islamophobic at all. Call the enemy by its name. Anything less is an exercise in irresponsible cowardice, serving to diminish the forward-looking concept of progressivism.

For more information on ISIS and their pursuits, I suggest reading this in-depth article by Graeme Wood at The Atlantic.

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